Jump, jump, jump over the dead body of the old left!
First they silenced our uprising with a media blackout then they smashed our encampments with midnight paramilitary raids… and now they’re threatening to neutralize our insurgency with an insidious campaign of donor money and co-optation. This counter-strategy worked to kill off the Tea Party’s outrage and turn it into a puppet of the Republican Party. Will the same happen with Occupy Wall Street? Will our insurgency turn into the Democrats’ Tea Party pet?
It’s up to you to decide if our movement goes the way of Paris ’68, the dust bin of could-have-been-insurrections, or something more daring, more inspiring, something not yet dreamed.
Will you allow Occupy to become a project of the old left, the same cabal of old world thinkers who have blunted the possibility of revolution for decades? Will you allow MoveOn, The Nation and Ben & Jerry to put the brakes on our Spring Offensive and turn our struggle into a “99% Spring” reelection campaign for President Obama?
We are now in a battle for the soul of Occupy… a fight to the finish between the impotent old left and the new vibrant, horizontal left who launched Occupy Wall Street from the bottom-up and who dreams of real democracy and another world.
Whatever you do, don’t allow our revolutionary struggle to fizzle out into another lefty whine and clicktivist campaign like has happened so many times in the past. Let’s Occupy the clicktivists and crash the MoveOn party. Let’s #DEFENDOCCUPY and stop the derailment of our movement that looms ahead.
2. Response to Occupy Wall Street
The Venus Project realizes the significance of the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Together movements and offers a positive solution for their grievances.
We at The Venus Project fear that any acquiescence to the protestor’s demands will do very little if the processes that cause the problems are left in place. In this case whatever laws or regulations are made will be eventually bypassed or overturned and conditions will revert back. This has almost always been the situation historically.
We are concerned that meeting the demands of the protestors while keeping the current economic system in place will not have the desired outcome. It will merely serve to temporarily pacify those who are abused and rightly angry. This will not solve the problems but will prolong them. When force does not work and superficial fixes (laws) are put into place without addressing the underlying problems, then no effective remedy will occur. It is the monetary economic system itself that is the root cause of these problems. Greed, corruption, and war are inevitable byproducts of the monetary system.
We maintain an obsolete economic system that has been handed down to us from centuries ago. It has never been just or equitable, nor can it be. The main aim of the monetary system is wealth, property, and power. This results in everyone being out for themselves. Our current circumstances are merely the evolution of a monetary-based system. It generates scarcity, poverty, aberrant behaviour and the accumulation of wealth at the expense of others and the environment. The main aim is not the well being of the environment or people. Is it any wonder that most of the money is usurped by 1% of the population?
The wealthy buy and control the politicians, courts, judges, media, police, entertainment, and even the universities. They set the agenda and the laws for their own advantage. It is the taxpayers who pay the salaries of the police while they work for the wealthy (who pay very little taxes) to violently put down peaceful protestors who threaten the status quo.
Those in positions of advantage will not yield their control willingly.
Calls for stopping wars seems to be a fruitless plea when there is so much money to be made from them. Peace is the brief interval between wars. We have many real problems as a human species, but wars should not be one of them. Wars are the supreme failure of inadequate social structures. Conflicts must be expected when people have unequal access to goods and services.
Some say we should elect more “ethical” people to government. It is not ethical people we need but the intelligent management of Earth’s resources for the benefit of all. Anything less will revert back to the same problems we face today.
If we wish to put an end to wars, greed, and corruption, we must come to understand that the real culprit is the monetary system itself and the values it generates in order to perpetuate itself. It values competition rather than cooperation. People are pacified with the notion of “freedom”. As Jacque Fresco says, “one is only as free as their purchasing power”. Concepts of “individuality” keep people divided. It puts the blame on individuals rather than the system that has failed them, whether it is going abroad for cheap labour or automating to maintain a competitive edge. However, you are brought up with the propaganda that you are to blame, not the environment. This is not the case.
There is an alternative.
The Venus Project calls for a total redesign of society where human rights are not merely paper proclamations but a way of life. A society can be designed where war and want are distant memories. All people need clean air, water, food, a relevant education, and the necessities of life. This is now possible if we update our social systems as we have updated our technologies. We are not separate from nature and must live within the carrying capacity of our planet’s resources. This can be accomplished by applying the methods of science to the way we live with the main aim being the wellbeing of all the world’s people and the protection of the environment.
Jacque Fresco, the originator of the Venus Project, arrived at this new holistic socioeconomic system through more than 7 decades of scientific inquiry, research and development, which he calls a resource-based economy. We invite you to learn more about it at www.thevenusproject.com
Once we join together and proclaim all earth’s resources as the common heritage of all people, we will begin to know what it means to be civilized. Until that time we will be continuously fighting for a piece of the pie.
3. Occupy Wall Street and the Democratic Party
The protest that began on Wall Street and has now spread across the US has a very different origin and, unlike the corporate-funded and media-promoted Tea Party, is a genuine expression of mass popular discontent. The fact that it is correctly targeting the bankers and speculators reflects a growth of anti-capitalist sentiment.
This has produced growing alarm in the US corporate and political establishment. The aim of the Democrats is to politically emasculate this movement and somehow harness it behind the reactionary policies of the Obama administration. They want to turn it into a harmless safety valve for popular anger while at the same time using it to “energize” the Democrats’ base.
As the New York Times reported, “To hear some Democratic analysts tell it, the mushrooming protests could be the start of a populist movement on the left that counterbalances the surge of the Tea Party on the right, and closes what some Democrats fear is an ‘enthusiasm gap.’”
This intention was made clear by union leaders who were paraded before the mass protest held in New York City’s Foley Square on Wednesday. Their empty demagogy and tired chants were interspersed with announcements of Democratic Party officials who had turned up for the occasion. One of the union officials, TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen, affirmed that the Wall Street protesters should get behind the drive to reelect Obama.
Meanwhile, a collection of Democratic notables have either paid visits to the encampment at Zuccotti Park or issued statements professing support for the protest.
Prominent among them was Representative Charles Rangel, who issued a statement declaring: “The American people have had enough. They’re mad as hell, and I agree.”
The millionaire congressman from Harlem may be “mad as hell,” but not too angry to continue to rake in Wall Street money. The financial sector accounted for the lion’s share of his campaign cash this year, nearly $69,000. It was money well spent, as Rangel, then chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, emerged as one of the key supporters of the Wall Street bailout.
The Democrats’ aims were further spelled out in a column by Paul Krugman in the New York Times. Citing gestures of support from unions and Democratic officials, Krugman wrote, “Occupy Wall Street is starting to look like an important event that might even eventually be seen as a turning point.”
A turning point to what? Essentially, a second term for Barack Obama.
“Democrats are being given what amounts to a second chance,” wrote Krugman. “The Obama administration squandered a lot of potential good will early on by adopting banker-friendly policies that failed to deliver economic recovery even as bankers repaid the favor by turning on the president. Now, however, Mr. Obama’s party has a chance for a do-over. All it has to do is take these protests as seriously as they deserve to be taken.”
What, precisely, is Obama to “do over?” The agenda for a second term has already been set by a $4 trillion deficit-reduction program that will be translated into devastating cuts to core social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, continuing record unemployment, and even deeper reductions in real wages for the working class.
What the Democrats really want to “do over” is their 2008 election victory, using populist demagogy to mask policies that uphold the interests of the banks, corporations and super-rich. This is where they see the Wall Street protests as potentially useful. If they can somehow identify themselves with popular protest against these conditions, they hope to mask the real record of the Obama administration.
They are desperate to breathe new life into the illusion that the Democrats are somehow a “lesser evil” and a means of combating the Republicans and Wall Street. With the aid of the unions and pseudo-left groups like the International Socialist Organization, they are trying to promote this fraud within the Wall Street protest movement itself.
The Democrats are, in fact, a party of Wall Street, evidenced both by Obama’s receipt of the greatest amount of Wall Street campaign cash in history and, more decisively, by the policies he has pursued since his election.
Historically, the Democratic Party has been the graveyard of social struggles of working people in the United States, going all the way back to the Populist Movement of the late 19th century, to the industrial union movement of the 1930s, to the Civil Rights and the antiwar movements of the 1960s. All of them were channeled into the Democratic Party and thereby not only rendered harmless to the financial elite, but turned into new props for capitalist rule.
The same essential fate was shared by the mass protests against the war in Iraq, which became regulated according to the electoral calendar and then wound up once Obama entered the White House.
If those who are protesting against Wall Street are to avoid a similar fate, they must begin by rejecting the “lesser evil” fraud and fighting to develop an independent political movement of the working class in opposition to both parties of big business and the profit system they defend.
Only the working class—mobilized in a mass socialist movement—has the power to put an end to social inequality and reorganize economic life to meet the needs of the majority of society, rather than further enrich the top one percent.
Capitalism has failed. The burning need now is to prepare the revolutionary struggle of the American and international working class for socialism. We urge all those who want to fight Wall Street to join and build the Socialist Equality Party.